Written on: 30/09/2009
On September 29,2009 I noticed a charge to my debit card from classmates.com. It was for the yearly gold membership. Problem was that I didn't authorize such a purchase. I had purchased a membership in 2008,and because of the economy decided to forgo it this year.
Went to their website and they sure know how to hide their contact information. Many clicks later I finally found a place to email. Told them to put the money back into my account. Here's their first response.
Hello Classmates Member, Thank you for contacting Classmates Member Care. We're more than happy to assist you.
**YOUR ACTION REQUIRED--PLEASE FOLLOW THE STEPS BELOW TO AVOID FURTHER BILLING**
We're sorry to hear that you don't wish to continue as a Classmates Gold member. While purchasing your Gold membership, you were provided with information just above the "Submit Payment" button explaining that all memberships are enrolled in our automatic renewal program. This automated billing process prevents any interruption in your Gold membership ben. Through your acceptance of the Gold membership offer, you authorized us to continue to charge your credit card to extend your membership until you took the necessary steps to remove yourself from this program.
If you wish to discontinue your paid Gold membership after the current term, you may remove yourself from the automatic renewal program any time prior to your renewal date.
So I emailed theem back and told them that I didn't authorize such a thing and to refund the money. Here's the second email sent to me.
Thank you for your reply.
Please be assured that your membership is no longer enrolled in the automatic renewal program and you will not be charged again. Your Gold membership will expire and revert to FREE status on Sep 29, 2010. After your membership reverts to free status, you'll still be listed on Classmates and receive email notifications about your account activity.
We make efforts to ensure our members understand the terms of the membership they are purchasing by providing information about the automatic renewal program directly on the credit card payment page, right above the "Submit Payment" button. On the same page, it states that payment for a Gold membership is non-refundable.
The automatic renewal program and no refund policy are also explained in the Classmates Terms of Service, which you agreed to when you clicked the "Submit Payment" button to finish your membership payment.
We hope you'll take some time to explore and enjoy Classmates.com and get the most out of your Gold member benefits. We're constantly updating the site to make it more valuable to you and more fun to use.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience. If you have any further questions or concerns, please reply directly to this email and we will be happy to assist you.
So I emaild them back.
Spoke to the bank. they said that because it was a debit Visa purchase, I can't stop payment. HOWEVER when the payment is cleared, they are willing to help me dispute to Visa and recover the funds. SO I will get the funds back. You could still refund and save alot of time, but if you don't, there is remedy. YOU have held my information for a year without my knowledge. NO ONE would agree to that.You can be assured that I never knowingly authorized it. I had already decided that if the ecomony here had improved, perhaps I would have become an active member again. in the future, although I didn't use the service enough to warrant the price. I have even suggested this site. Those days are over. Refund, and as I've asked, this is my fourth email, remove me from your site.
Haven't received a return email from them. They KEEP your information!! IF there is such a place in the contract, it's buried. Bank says that I have to wait a couple of days, take all copies of email to them and they will file a complaint with VISA. What a mess.